On 9 to 14 October 2023 CapaCare the Netherlands hosted a Continuous Professional Development Course on Evidence Based Medicine in Masanga Hospital, Sierra Leone. The course was developed after requests from staff on the ground in Sierra Leone to be trained more on this academic subject, as most of their training is on clinical skills. We found partners from the University Utrecht (Kim Luijken) and a clinician (SACHO) from Sierra Leone (Sheku Farnah) to create the course content. Sheku Farnah also took part as a co-trainer. Additionally, we were supported by the Masanga Research Institute by Sierra Leonean PhD Student at the University of Amsterdam dr Emmanuel Marx, who assisted as a co-teacher and introduced the work and network of the Masanga Research Unit to all course participants.
The course was given to three groups: a two-day course for SACHOs (clinical officers with surgical training by CapaCare), a two day course for Sierra Leonean medical doctors, and a one day crash course for first-year students of the CapaCare Surgical Training Programme. Topics that were discussed included: usage of UpToDate in daily clinical practice; synthesis of medical literature in the creation of systematic reviews and eventually guidelines; which study design fits which kind of research question and how to formulate a research question; appraisal of methodology and applicability of a randomized clinical trial and the current work and network of the Masanga Research Unit (MMRU). After the course, an evaluation was sent to the course participants, of which the results can be found below.
Evaluation: Course participants noted the following three items most often as the subject they found most interesting in this course: assessing the quality of a randomized clinical trial; how to formulate a research question and finally how to work with UpToDate. All course participants indicated that they were interested in learning more about research in the future. It was noted that they would like to learn more about statistical analysis, which was beyond the scope of this course. When asked to grade the course on a scale from 1 to 10, an average grade of 9.4 was given by the participants. Interestingly, while most participants found the course to be the right difficulty, mostly the first-year students found that the course was too easy for them. The first-year students only received the first day of training. Most in-depth subjects (randomization, applicability, etc.) were given on the second day, which might explain their opinion.
We would like to thank our two donors (SBOH and KCGH) for making this course possible. The CapaCare surgical training programme has been around for a while now and we notice that a lot of our former students have a broad amount of clinical knowledge and expertise. We aim to create further opportunities for them to also become more acquainted with the academic world in the future.
Tom Versteege, MD Global Health & family doctor in training; chair of CapaCare NL
Kenniscentrum Global Health (KCGH)
Arthur van Schendelstraat 650
3511 MJ Utrecht
Kenniscentrum Global Health is opgericht door de NVTG en het OIGT met als doel global health kennis toegankelijk en bruikbaar maken ten behoeve van de Nederlandse gezondheidszorg.
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